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  the Media circus stories
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 12:18 PM - Forum: 2001 - No Replies

MEDIA; Turning a Mystery Into a Courtroom Drama

There was a moment about a year ago when it appeared this story might finally go away. Authorities in Boulder, Colo., were calling the investigation into who killed JonBenet Ramsey effectively stalled. A 13-month grand jury investigation the previous year had not resulted in an indictment or vindication. No one had heard publicly from the parents, and the major news media that once opened minibureaus in this college town had long ago packed up and moved on.

But a second Ramsey maelstrom is on the horizon. Four and half years after her murder, JonBenet's death has metamorphosed into an all-out rumble of libel, slander and First Amendment civil lawsuits.

No fewer than 10 lawsuits, claiming more than $250 million in damages, have been filed either by or against tabloid and mainstream media, local police, Ramsey neighbors and employees and JonBenet's family.

''I will say that this is the first time I've ever seen this, at this scale,'' said Daniel Petrocelli, who successfully represented the family of Ron Goldman in a $33.5 million wrongful death claim against O. J. Simpson.

In fact, the Ramsey civil cases are part of a national trend. More Americans are turning to civil claims -- some say legal vigilantism -- when criminal charges were not enough or seemingly failed. The National Crime Victim Bar Association in Arlington, Va., says it has tracked since 1991 a 200 percent increase in civil cases originally stemming from crimes that went to trial and whose verdicts were appealed (the association does not track trials that do not lead to appeals).

But the JonBenet libel suits are writing a new chapter to this courtroom drama. The machinery of a civil lawsuit is not only being wielded to redeem reputations, but to identify JonBenet's killer or expose police corruption.

''I'm in a position to prove who murdered JonBenet,'' said Darnay Hoffman, who in 1996 represented Bernard H. Goetz in civil lawsuits by three of the men he shot in a New York subway in 1984. In the last year, Mr. Hoffman filed two $50 million libel lawsuits against John and Patsy Ramsey on behalf of Christian Wolf, a Boulder resident, and Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, the Ramseys' housekeeper. The Ramseys named both as suspects in their 2000 book.

At the heart of Mr. Hoffman's case is the Ramsey ransom note, a rambling three-page demand that police say was written by the killer. Beginning in May, Mr. Hoffman will begin taking depositions from key figures, including JonBenet's parents, in efforts to tie handwriting similarities -- specifically the shape of letters like ''s,'' ''d'' and ''n'' -- to whom he believes is the primary suspect.

''If I show Patsy is the writer, everything she wrote and said is a lie,'' Mr. Hoffman said, ''and we win.'' As was done in the Simpson civil case, he would insist on confiscating the Ramseys' assets.

Mr. Hoffman's adversary, though, is L. Lin Wood, who also represents the libel claims of Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Mr. Wood is also aiming to tap the workings of the civil courts for his client's own crusade.

''Darnay will be, in a backhanded way, doing us a favor and putting whether Patsy killed JonBenet into play,'' says Mr. Wood, who intends to prove that local authorities had it out for his clients. To press his point, in March the Ramseys filed an $80 million libel and due process claim against Steve Thomas, a lead detective in the Ramsey case who retired and wrote a book calling Mrs. Ramsey the murderer. Adding to this operatic legal drama is Mr. Thomas's choice for defense attorney: Mr. Petrocelli.

Meanwhile, there are other libel filings, the most compelling surrounding JonBenet's brother, Burke, who was 9 at the time of the murder. In May 1999, an article in the tabloid The Star suggested that the boy killed his sister. The story was picked up by The New York Post and by Time magazine's Web site. The problem was Burke was never a suspect in the case, according to statements Boulder authorities have made since the day of the murder.

Though The Star retracted its article, Mr. Wood filed a $25 million suit against the magazine as well as another tabloid, The Globe, for a similar piece. Both were settled for undisclosed amounts.

Mr. Wood also filed $4 million suits against The Post and Time .com, which stood by the articles (though Time.com did remove its article from its Web site). Those cases are in litigation, as is an $11.75 million suit filed against the author and publisher of a Texas book that portrayed Burke as the murderer.

All lawyers involved stamp everyone else's lawsuits ''frivolous'' and ''publicity stunts.'' And all agree that while the 2001 litigation will probably reveal tantalizing clues as to whodunit, it will not solve the crime. As a result, the public can certainly expect more news coverage of the case.

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  I spoke to him
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 12:13 PM - Forum: Dr. Henry Lee - No Replies

Can't remember just what year it was - a few years after the murder.  At that time he was not taking any clear position but my feeling was he felt the intruder evidence was compelling.  He helped me receive some evidence and told me how to properly store it until it was accepted for DNA analysis.  he also taught me more about chain of custody and from that I made a plan - and it worked.  I accepted the evidence - had the tipster send it to me in a sealed envelope and I never opened that envelope.  I thne put that envelope in a LARGER envelope and sealed THAT.  I immediately sent it to the office of someone working in the law enforcement field and - - - it may as well have been placed immediately into the BPD evidence locker.  It was safe and the chaim of custody could not be questioned.  Eventually it did go to the lab for testing and the suspect was cleared.

I am pleased that I have been able to do similar things several times.  All those suspects may have been cleared but it helped to get them removed from suspect lists.

Anyway, having said all that, I watched Dr. Henry Lee on the CBS show and wondered if the man I spoke to had been assimilated by BORG or just found his interview cut and pasted together so even he was sick.  (I remember Larry Schiller telling me he didn't give interviews unless they were live because of that cut and twist danger.)

ANYWAY, I found this quote in a two-year anniversary news story and thought I'd share it here.

Henry Lee, famed for his work on behalf of O.J. Simpson's defense team, said a successful investigation is based on four crucial elements — a good crime scene, strong physical evidence, witnesses and "a little bit of luck."
"Unfortunately, we lack all four of those elements," Lee said. "But we always keep a sort of hope. We never give up."

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  2 years later
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 12:02 PM - Forum: 1998 - No Replies

Clues elusive 2 years later
Conflicting theories still only theories in JonBenét Ramsey murder investagation
By Matt Sebastian
Camera Staff Writer

Joe Barnhill once thought the mysterious murder of his angelic young neighbor, 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey, would be solved within three days.
Today, he's still waiting for that closure, as the investigation into the death of the one-time Little Miss Colorado enters its third year.
"I'm just beside myself," Barnhill said last week, having just returned from a walk with JonBenét's dog, which he and his wife still care for.
"It's so sad," he said quietly. "We loved that girl."
For the second time since the 1996 Christmas slaying, the anniversary of JonBenét's death will pass without an arrest — even though her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, remain under intense and constant suspicion.
Many of the actors in this nationally televised drama have changed over the past two years, and the case is now being considered by Boulder County's grand jury. But the key questions remain:
Has this couple gotten away with murder? Or, as the Ramseys themselves insist, was there an intruder in their Boulder home that Christmas night?
Police officials and members of Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter's prosecution team remain optimistic that the current grand jury inquest may still solve this mystery.
"There are people working on this case that won't stop working until it's solved," Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant said recently.
Another one of Hunter's advisers acknowledges that it's an uphill battle.
"This whole case just boils down to a lack of information," Dr. Henry Lee, director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory, said last week.
"The crime scene was already contaminated from day one," said Lee, who has worked on the Ramsey case since early 1997. "And as for physical evidence, we do not really have any major pieces."
After long pondering the move, Boulder's district attorney — with the aid of three special prosecutors — finally began presenting the labyrinthine Ramsey murder investigation to the county's grand jury this past September.
Using the panel's power to compel testimony and secure documents under subpoena, Hunter and police hope to answer some of their remaining questions about what happened that Christmas night.
Even the Ramsey family, which had repeatedly criticized the police investigation into JonBenét's death, hailed the progress in the case.
Today, Patsy Ramsey's sister says the grand jury is the best hope yet to find JonBenét's killer.
When asked recently if she still believes the case can be solved, Pam Paugh emphatically answered, "Absolutely!"
"If the faith I continue to have in Alex Hunter holds any water," she quickly added.
Over the course of the fall months, with the 12 jurors and five alternates meeting twice most weeks, the panel heard evidence from Boulder police officers and detectives, as well as Colorado Bureau of Investigation handwriting analysts and chemists.
The jurors toured the former Ramsey home and subpoenaed documents from a variety of sources, including the private hangar where John Ramsey kept his plane.
Currently on a five-week holiday hiatus, the grand jury is expected to reconvene Jan. 5 and work into the spring.
But for all the power of the grand jury, it remains unclear whether it can overcome the Ramsey case's own history — especially the crucial mistakes allegedly made on the first day of the investigation.
Henry Lee, famed for his work on behalf of O.J. Simpson's defense team, said a successful investigation is based on four crucial elements — a good crime scene, strong physical evidence, witnesses and "a little bit of luck."
"Unfortunately, we lack all four of those elements," Lee said. "But we always keep a sort of hope. We never give up."
Boulder police officers Rick French and Karl Veitch arrived at the Ramsey home, 755 15th St., at 5:52 a.m. on Dec. 26, 1996.
Patsy Ramsey had called 911 after she said she found a 2½-page ransom note on a spiral staircase in the rear of the sprawling house. The note demanded $118,000 in exchange for the safe return of JonBenét.
But after calling police, the Ramseys contacted several friends and their pastor. At least five people arrived at the home shortly after the two officers. The first detective, Linda Arndt, didn't show up until 8 a.m.
"You just don't want people traipsing through your crime scene," said former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary. "If you believe a stranger has been in that house, you don't want other people in there.
"Even before they were aware it was a homicide, it was at least the scene of an abduction that needed to be contained and cordoned off."
Police didn't even tape off JonBenét's bedroom until 10:30 a.m., according to a search warrant affidavit.
Perhaps the most crucial error came at 1 p.m. Tired of waiting for the supposed kidnapper to call, Arndt asked John Ramsey and two of his friends to search the house.
John Fernie went upstairs; Fleet White followed Ramsey down to the basement. But White came running back upstairs almost immediately.
John Ramsey had found his daughter's lifeless body beneath a blanket in an unused, windowless room. He removed a strip of tape from her mouth and carried her body upstairs.
"Why in God's name were John Ramsey and Fleet White allowed to find that body without a police officer present?" asked retired Boulder police officer Dale Stange, an investigator with eight years of homicide experience. "That just destroyed everything right there."
Ten months later, then-police Chief Tom Koby would admit, "If we had it to do all over, we would do it differently."
Privately, current Boulder police officers say they wish Koby had acknowledged that earlier and more sincerely.
Mark Beckner, who has headed the Ramsey case since fall 1997 and succeeded Koby as Boulder police chief in June, won`t discuss that first day.
"I`m going to really choose not to go back and review the history of this case at this point," Beckner said recently.
Boulder police still deny that John and Patsy Ramsey are suspects in their daughter's murder, instead describing the couple as falling under "the umbrella of suspicion."
But many people have little doubt that the Ramseys were the police department's only real suspects and now are under full grand jury investigation.
That's still surprising to some.
"Somebody wearing a badge who's had access to the facts says the Ramseys are innocent," Denver defense attorney Larry Pozner said, referring to the recent resignation of detective Lou Smit, who served as an investigator on the case for Hunter.
A retired El Paso County homicide investigator, Smit left the district attorney's office last September, saying he was convinced of the Ramseys' innocence and afraid Hunter was bent on prosecuting them.
"That's very troubling," Pozner said. "You just don't ever see that."
The Boulder Police Department has been sharply criticized by the Ramseys and their supporters for, they say, single-mindedly going after JonBenét's parents.
Even Hunter admitted as much, telling The New Yorker magazine, "The cops became so convinced that the Ramseys did it that they've never been able to look at the evidence objectively."
Throughout the case, the district attorney's office has been perceived as being open to other theories about the crime — so much so that some close to the case allege Hunter is in cahoots with the Ramseys, a charge both sides deny.
In May 1997, the district attorney's office said in a court filing that there remained "the real possibility that the murder was committed by an intruder."
Even Boulder County Sheriff George Epp mulled over the idea of running an investigation parallel to the Boulder Police Department's.
"Somebody had suggested that to me, but it just wouldn't have been a good idea," Epp said last week, declining to say who brought it up.
After two years of work, is it possible that Boulder police have missed the boat entirely, letting an intruder get away with a crime?
David Protess, a Northwestern University journalism professor, thinks it could be possible. He has seen it before.
"I certainly have investigated, as a journalist, a number of cases involving children who vanish from their beds and are later found murdered," Protess said. "In most of those cases, the parents are not involved.
"What we don't expect or accept is that a young child could vanish from her bed in the middle of the night and be killed. I think our society would prefer for the parents to have committed this crime. It makes us safer to believe that, even if the assumption is false."
Ramsey supporters point to several pieces of evidence that they say will shed doubt on any future case against JonBenét's parents.
Just this past month, police asked Pam Paugh and four other Ramsey family relatives to submit DNA for comparison to genetic material found under JonBenét's fingernails and on her underwear.
The Ramsey relatives, who were not in Colorado at the time of the murder, voluntarily complied.
Police also have long sought the match to a still-unidentified palm print found somewhere in the house. More significant yet is the imprint of a Hi-Tec boot found in the same room where JonBenét's body was found.
And despite the Ramseys' initial report to police that all their doors and windows had been locked Christmas night, subsequent investigation revealed one unlocked door and a half-dozen unlatched windows.
For these reasons and because of his own faith in his neighbors, Joe Barnhill is firm in his opinion of the Ramseys.
"I've never thought the parents did it and I still can't believe they did," Barnhill said.
Now Barnhill, like the rest of Boulder — and the whole world — will wait and see if the county's 12 grand jurors can determine what happened in that house two years ago.
And, all involved must hope a third Christmas doesn't pass before a killer is brought to justice.

December 26, 1998

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  Note - handwriting attributed to Patsy
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 11:57 AM - Forum: 1997 - 1998 - Replies (2)

Not forgotten: Controversy still surrounds the murder of JonBenét Ramsey
By JULIE POPPEN, Camera Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 1997
"Why didn't I hear my baby?"
Those were among the first words uttered by a distraught Patricia Ramsey to Boulder police Detective Linda Arndt who showed up at the Ramseys' sprawling University Hill home to investigate an alleged kidnapping.
Ramsey's darling, 6-year-old daughter JonBenét, was not in her bed. At 5:52 a.m. the day after Christmas - one year ago today - "Patsy," a former Miss West Virginia, and her husband John, then head of Boulder-based Access Graphics, had already pointed police to a bizarre, nearly three-page ransom note.
Neatly coifed and dressed for the day, Patsy found the alarming letter on a spiral staircase as she made her way downstairs to make coffee. In one interview, she said she was preparing to go "visiting" that morning. The Ramseys also were scheduled to meet John Ramsey's adult children from a previous marriage in Minneapolis, where they would take a private plane with the Boulder Ramsey clan to the family's second home in Charlevoix, Mich. His two older children had left Atlanta early that morning.
"It said 'Mr. Ramsey ... we have your daughter,'" Patsy said, describing the ransom note during a Jan. 1 CNN interview. "And I - you know, it just wasn't registering, and I may have gotten through another sentence ... And I immediately ran back upstairs and pushed open her door, and she was not in her bed, and I screamed for John."
Although it's one of the most highly publicized cases in criminal history, the heinous murder and apparent sexual assault of JonBenét Ramsey has yet to be solved. Speculation on her murder - she was found strangled with a fractured skull in the basement of the family's home in the early afternoon - has run rampant.
Boulder police and investigators with the Boulder County District Attorney's office remain tight-lipped. The Ramseys, with a team of attorneys and private investigators, will not talk openly about the untimely death of their daughter, described as an outgoing child who showed a remarkable concern for others. Despite being described as a "focus" of the investigation, the Ramseys have adamantly denied any knowledge of their daughter's brutal end.
The police and family friends - especially those who were at the Ramsey home when JonBenét's body was found - now have unlisted phone numbers and no desire to express their grief, pain or anger publicly.
But the release of documents - such as search warrants for the Ramseys' Boulder home and their summer home, the autopsy report and transcripts of interviews with the Ramseys and their hired experts - provide a snapshot of events that transpired on that infamous winter day.
The Ramseys
The Ramseys moved to Boulder in 1991. John Ramsey, then president and chief executive officer of Access Graphics, outlined lofty goals for the company he relocated from Atlanta.
Once here, the family moved into a 15-room, Tudor-style home worth $760,000 near Chautauqua Park. Access Graphics outperformed expectations in 1996, raking in $1 billion in revenues. The success was noted in the Ramsey family Christmas card.
For John, it was like a second life. He had three children with his former wife, including a daughter, Elizabeth, who died in a car wreck in the Chicago area in 1992. One of his adult children, John Andrew Ramsey, was enrolled at University of Colorado at the time of the murder.
Often away on business, John Ramsey returned weekends and spent time eating dinner with his family, reading to his children and helping with homework, friends said not long after the slaying. "He disciplined with love," Patsy's mother, Nedra Paugh, said at the time. Friends said John never raised his voice or spanked his kids.
Others, though, describe him as an "enigma" and "hard to get to know."
Patsy, who will turn 41 on Dec. 29, is a former Miss West Virginia and, with her two sisters, beauty queen aficionados. She was known as a community do-gooder, volunteering at her son Burke's school even as she recovered from a bout of ovarian cancer in 1994. In fact, Judith Phillips, a 46-year-old professional photographer who has known the Ramseys for 14 years, noted that Patsy spent even more time with her kids after her battle with the deadly disease.
Family friends have said Patsy doted on her children, introducing her youngest, JonBenét, to the intriguing world of child beauty pageants. One autumn, Patsy denied to friends that she dyed little JonBenét's dishwater blond hair a bright gold and said it had been bleached in the summer sun in Michigan. But those who knew JonBenét said it was obvious.
"I knew it was dyed," Phillips said. "That was a ridiculous lie - what does she think I am, stupid?"
Named JonBenét after her father, John Bennett, the little girl loved to sing, dance and perform, observers said. She appeared well-versed in social graces, but had a mischievous side.
The Ramseys were active churchgoers, holding social functions at their home for parishioners at St. John's Episcopalian Church. The Ramseys were known for their lavish parties. One Christmas, Patsy had as many as eight Christmas trees in different rooms of the house.
A year ago, the home's walkway was decorated with singing candy canes, one report said. Despite the intensity of their entertaining, people have described the Ramseys as "down to earth" and "easygoing."
Christmas Day
The Ramseys spent part of Christmas night delivering presents and attending a Christmas party in the evening at the home of oil magnate Fleet White Jr. and his wife Priscilla. Nobody noticed anything peculiar. In fact, Patsy was described as being excited about the planned trip to Michigan.
"Patsy was just bubbly, full of life," a family friend had said. "And she was excited about going to Michigan the next day."
Earlier in the week, they threw a major holiday fete attended by about 50 people - including Santa Claus. Bill McReynolds, a former University of Colorado journalism professor who worked as Santa in Boulder for years, said little JonBenét gave him a vial of star dust (glitter) for him to sprinkle in his beard.
As usual, JonBenét was trying to make sure everybody was having fun. She stayed close to her brother, Burke, who was 9-years-old at the time.
Christmas day was warm and sunny for the most part, and JonBenét and her brother each received new bicycles that their mother picked out from University Bicycles downtown.
One police report indicated Patsy was the last person to see JonBenét alive - safely tucked in her bed at 10 p.m. at 755 15th St. Another report said John Ramsey told a detective he was the last person to see his daughter in her second floor bedroom at 10 p.m.
Nobody - except the killer or killers - knows what happened in the home for the next eight hours. The only people in the home, according to the Ramseys, were Patsy, John, JonBenét and Burke, now 10.
There were no new footprints in the fresh dusting of snow and frost on the family's lawn or in a crusty accumulation of old snow, according to police who first arrived on the scene. But some walkways might have been free of snow - making such preliminary evidence non-conclusive.
And recent news reports indicate police might have footprint evidence from inside the home. Investigators recently have asked family friends whether they own SAS or Hi-Tech shoes or boots. Hi-Tech boots are commonly worn by law enforcement officers, one store owner said.
Initial reports also note there were no signs of forced entry, yet one Boulder police sergeant later noticed a pry mark in the door jam of a rear kitchen door.
John Ramsey told police the home was locked when he went to bed and when he awoke. But the alarm system was off. The Ramseys, who declined comment for this story, also indicated they heard no strange noises overnight.
The first two Boulder police officers arrived on the scene at 5:52 a.m. Dec. 26. Several family friends were already inside - including White, his wife, friends Barbara and John Fernie and the pastor from St. John's Episcopalian Church, Rol Hoverstock. Throughout the day, more friends came and went.
The ransom note, printed with a felt-tip pen on a note pad later recovered from the home, demanded that John Ramsey turn over $118,000 to a "foreign faction" for the safe return of his daughter. If he failed to comply with the demands, which included a warning not to contact police or the FBI, JonBenét would be "decapitated." The monetary amount matched an annual bonus Ramsey had received at Access.
JonBenét's bedroom was sealed about 10:30 a.m.
Body discovered
At 1:05 p.m., after attempts to monitor phone calls failed to turn up the kidnappers, Detective Arndt asked John Ramsey, White and Fernie to search the house for "any sign of JonBenét or anything that may have been left or taken that belonged to her."
JonBenét's lifeless 45-pound frame was discovered almost immediately in a windowless basement room by her father and White. Police said she had been dead for "quite some time," but no time of death has ever been officially established, according to the Boulder County Coroner's Office.
"John Ramsey immediately went to the basement of the house, followed by Fleet White and John Fernie," Arndt reported. "Within a few minutes, Fleet came running upstairs, grabbed the telephone in the back office located on the first floor, and yelled for someone to call for an ambulance."
An FBI profiler hired by the Ramseys said in one interview that John Ramsey ran upstairs screaming, "Oh my God, my baby."
Arndt ran to the front of the house, near the door leading to the dark basement. She saw Ramsey run up the stairs carrying his youngest child with her tiny arms stiffly positioned above her head, a thin rope dangling from her right wrist. He deposited her small frame near the front door where resuscitation was attempted.
Ramsey already had removed a blanket that had covered her and ripped duct tape from her mouth. JonBenét, a former Little Miss Colorado, was neatly dressed in a white knit shirt decorated with a sequined silver star and white long underwear. An autopsy later revealed that her long johns were stained with urine.
Beneath her long underwear, she wore panties with the word "Wednesday" on the waist band. Those, too, were soaked with urine and investigators spotted evidence of blood. The Ramseys had stated they last saw JonBenét wearing a red turtleneck, prompting some speculation that the girl's clothes were changed after death. A red turtleneck was found in her bathroom sink, according to previously published reports.
Her striking long blond hair was secured with blue hair ties in two ponytails - one in the back of her head and one on top. She had a red ink heart drawn on the palm of her left hand. On her neck hung a gold necklace with a cross pendant. She wore a gold ring on the middle finger of her right hand and a gold bracelet on her right wrist that had "JonBenét" on one side and "12-25-96" on the other.
She had a rope around her neck that had been tightened with a crude garrote fashioned from a broken paint brush found in the Ramsey home. There was a red circular mark in the front of her neck at the base of her throat.
A detective searched the basement to look for the perpetrator. Nobody was found.
The Ramseys used the room where JonBenét's body was found to store Christmas decorations. There, police recovered two blankets, a piece of wire, a pink Barbie nightgown and some broken glass - all of which police later collected as evidence.
The cute, green-eyed girl had pieces of a Christmas garland - similar to the greenery that decorated the spiral staircase - tangled in her hair. There were dark fibers and dark hair on the outside of her shirt. The autopsy revealed numerous traces of a dark fiber in the 6-year-old's vaginal and pubic areas.
There was evidence of sexual abuse, such as blood in her panties. However, the stains didn't match blood on her skin - prompting Boulder County Coroner John Meyer, who arrived at the scene at 8 p.m., to note the evidence was "consistent with the child's pubic area having been wiped by a cloth." The doctor also noted that JonBenét's injury was consistent with "digital penetration of her vagina."
Boulder pediatrician Francesco Beuf, who also showed up at the Ramsey home Dec. 26, has gone public denying evidence of abuse in JonBenét's past. But, like many, he has since become quiet. "I think until this case goes to trial, the less I make public statements about it, the better it's going to be," Beuf said.
The girl had an 8.5-inch fracture in her skull, "consistent with a blow to the head," the coroner reported. By the time Meyer arrived, the girl's body had been moved again to the living room and was covered by a Colorado Avalanche sweatshirt and blanket.
"It was a real emotional scene as for the family putting a child down in front of the Christmas tree as they're trying to ... rub the ... skin, the body is ... cold," said John Douglas, a former FBI profiler hired by the Ramseys to help solve the crime, in a January interview with Dateline NBC. "And ... the mother is hysterical, the father's hysterical, the minister's there, and the neighbors are running in and out. And so there really isn't a crime scene."
Key evidence
During a search of the home that same day, police recovered a note pad with three pages ripped from its center. An analysis by Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab agent Chet Ubowski revealed tear marks that matched those at the top of the ransom note. The beginning of a "practice" ransom note also was recovered. The note pad in question was turned over to police by John Ramsey.
"On the page immediately preceding the missing three pages, the words 'Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey' had been written with what appeared to be the same felt tip pen as the three-page ransom note," according to one search warrant affidavit. The note pad also contained other handwriting later analyzed by Ubowski. The real ransom note began "Mr. Ramsey."
"This handwriting showed indications that the writer was Patsy Ramsey," according to a search warrant affidavit.
Ubowski would not comment on the ransom note, saying all information compiled by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is the domain of Boulder authorities. But according to Boulder police, Ubowski reported that handwriting samples from John Ramsey showed "indications" he did not pen the bizarre, rambling three-page note that seemed to rip quotes from books and films, and that it was "probable" Burke did not write it.
"The evidence falls short of that necessary to support a definite conclusion," the Colorado Bureau of Investigation reported.
Ramseys disappear
After the murder, the Ramseys effectively dropped out of sight, by staying with friends and restaurateur Jay Elowski and others. They selectively appeared at a church service two Sundays after their daughter's death. While many parishioners attempted to shield the grieving family from the onslaught of news cameras, it was later revealed their spokesman, Pat Korten, had alerted the media about the photo opportunity.
The Ramseys never returned to the tony Boulder home they spent several years and thousands of dollars renovating.
On Dec. 31, they attended a hastily organized funeral service in Atlanta. JonBenét was laid to rest alongside Elizabeth Ramsey in the city where she was born only six years earlier.
With the closing of JonBenét's coffin came the opening of one of the most widely publicized murder mysteries in American history.

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  lawsuit news
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 11:44 AM - Forum: 2001 - Replies (6)

National News Briefs; Ramseys and Tabloid Settle JonBenet Lawsuit


John and Patsy Ramsey have settled a lawsuit against a supermarket tabloid over articles that suggested that their son, Burke, had molested and killed his sister, JonBenet.

Meanwhile today, the Ramseys' former housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, sued the couple in Atlanta, asserting that their book falsely named her as a suspect in the 1996 death of JonBenet. No one has been charged in the case.

Terms of the settlement with the tabloid, The Globe, were not disclosed, The Daily Camera newspaper of Boulder reported today.

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  Stephen Miles
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 11:27 AM - Forum: Names to remember - Replies (11)

Photographer sues Enquirer, Ramseys
Tabloid story leads to lawsuit
By MATT SEBASTIAN, Camera Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 4, 1998
Angered by tabloid reports accusing him of pedophilia and murder, a Boulder photographer filed a defamation suit Tuesday against John Ramsey and the National Enquirer.
Stephen Thomas Miles, 49, suffered "shunning, hatred, ridicule and contempt" as a result of an Enquirer article that reported Ramsey believed the photographer killed his 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, according to the lawsuit. The suit did not seek a specific damage amount.
"This guy wouldn't kill a housefly," Miles' attorney, Lee Hill, said Tuesday.
The photographer - who does have a lengthy criminal history, primarily involving drugs - was attending to a sick parent Tuesday and unavailable for comment, Hill said.
Ramsey's civil attorney, Bill Gray, said Tuesday he wouldn't discuss pending litigation.
Hill, however, said he spoke to Gray earlier in the day and that he said Ramsey denies accusing Miles of the Dec. 26, 1996, killing of his daughter.
Representatives of the National Enquirer, based in southeast Florida, could not be reached for comment.
Suing for libel, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Miles' complaint also names as defendants two of the tabloid's reporters, John South and David Wright.
The first of two articles Miles takes issue with ran Oct. 21. Credited to South and Wright, the piece quotes an unnamed source saying, "John and Patsy will claim that the real killer is a neighbor, Stephen Miles, who was once arrested and accused of a sex offense against a minor."
The Enquirer article also states Ramsey was planning on telling police his suspicions about Miles. In his suit, the photographer alleges the tabloid article "creates a deliberate, cumulative false impression in a reasonable reader that (the) plaintiff is a sex offender and a pedophile."
A second story, written by Wright and published Nov. 11, refers to a list of potential suspects allegedly given to police by the Ramseys' attorneys. "Included on that list are dozens of pedophiles and sex offenders living in Boulder. One of them, gay photographer Stephen Miles ..."
Miles was arrested in 1989 on suspicion of taking pornographic pictures of juvenile boys and providing them with drugs and alcohol. Some of those photographs allegedly featured simulated sex acts.
But the Boulder County District Attorney's Office dropped most of the charges when Miles agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of criminal attempt to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, according to district court records.
Miles is not on the Boulder Police Department's list of registered sex offenders.
But the photographer does have a history, stretching back to his teenage years, of getting into drug-related trouble.
Miles was arrested as a 19-year-old on suspicion of possession of marijuana. Ten years later, in 1977, he was placed on three years probation after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. In return for that plea, three other drug charges were dismissed.
Since then, Miles has agreed to plea bargains in two other drug-related charges and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, according to court records.
Although he said he can't say whether police are looking into Miles as a suspect, the photographer's attorney said his client has not been interviewed by detectives.
Hill also said he's unsure if the libel suit will force Ramsey to publicly testify as to the events surrounding his daughter's murder.
If it turns out Ramsey isn't the source of the accusations printed in the Enquirer, Miles' suit leaves open the option to include other defendants.
"It wouldn't surprise me if a couple of others float to the surface as the investigation continues," Hill said.

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  Blood on tape
Posted by: jameson245 - 05-04-2017, 01:03 PM - Forum: Duck Tape - Replies (2)

I am reading a pile of files and want to let everyone know they did positively test the tape for blood and that came back positive.

So do you think there was blood coming from her nose or mouth?  I don't because that was not in the autopsy.

I think the tape was put on after the sexual assault, staging, and the blood was transferred from the assailant's fingers. 

I have not seen any lab reports on that - - maybe that is what they will be testing this year.

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  Notes on interview with pathologist
Posted by: jameson245 - 04-29-2017, 11:24 AM - Forum: Prior sexual abuse - No Replies

I am cleaning out some old files, reviewing them and filing some that had just been tossed to one side.  Came across an old interview with a pathologist and thought I would share what he said.  (Yes, he was a consultant to the case)

He was asked if JonBenét's hymen showed evidence of prior sexual contact with anyone (before the night she died).

The first thing he said was that there is a "great degree" of variables in hymens of little girls.  He said the shape described by Dr. Meyer's during the autopsy was absolutely normal and the fact that there was no evidence of tearing - - - the only evidence of any sexual contact is the very recent scrape to the vaginal wall.

That doctor would swear in court that there was NO evidence of anything happening to her before that horrible night.  No evidence of earlier assaults at all.  Nothing you would find if there was chronic or earlier abuse.  No injury to the anus or skin around the vagina or labia other than from that night, just before her death.

The BORG talk about the evidence of prior abuse like it is a proven fact.  But the doctor who did the autopsy wouldn't testify to such activity and others who WOULD be called into a courtroom will say there is NO evidence of anything happening before the night she died.

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  Christmas Night
Posted by: jameson245 - 04-26-2017, 04:21 PM - Forum: Christmas Day, 1996 - Replies (1)

I have seen some photos taken at Fleet White's house on Christmas night.  Patsy in her red sweater and plaid jacket, John in his black sweater and kacky pants.  And a very tired Daphne and JonBenet playing on the floor with that bead making set.  They both looking absolutely exhausted.  Dazed.  Looking at the camera. No smiles left, so tired.  And what did I notice that made me smile?  They were both barefoot.  Childhood personified.  Christmas tree there, gifts and fun and family all around, exhausted , playing.

It should have been a wonderful memory.

Hard to look at the images and think she had just hours left to live.

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  Why Hunter did not go forward
Posted by: jameson245 - 04-17-2017, 12:38 PM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (2)

"I and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time," Hunter told the reporters assembled outside the Boulder County Justice Center on Oct. 13, 1999.

The bottom line is that the grand jury was shown evidence over the course of many months - - more than a year.  (90-99% of what they were shown or told was BORG.    Questions were put to witnesses in any way the BORG persecutors wanted - spinning allowed for sure.  Witnesses bringing in evidence of an intruder (and that would be Lou Smit who FORCED his way in by going to the courts) were treated with clear disrespect.  
There is a saying a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich - - and in this case they proved the saying to be true.  They indicted people who they were  - - - coerced into indicting for SOMETHING!

But the job of the District Attorney is to watch over this proceedings and know "the rest of the story" - - and to follow up ONLY on a case he believes he can win.

For example, the "evidence", theory, opinion, brain fart of one Donald Foster could have been presented as good evidence from a respectable EXPERT.  (He didn't appear in person but his information may have been.)  But the DA knew "the rest of the story".  Hunter knew Foster had written a letter to the Ramseys saying he knew they were innocent - would stake his reputation on it.  Hunter knew that Foster had identified another person as the killer - - he had a file an inch think on the "work" of Donald Foster.

He knew the man touted as the "key witness" was not a good witness, would be discredited immediately had he been brought in to a real trial.

Hunter also knew that the suspects WANTED to be called in to speak to the grand jury - - and were denied.

Hunter was not working in a vacuum - - he had a panel of advisers who gave him a list of the clear problems he would face if there was an arrest made based on what was shared in that grand jury room.  

HUNTER would have looked the fool and there would NOT be any conviction based on those problems.

Hunter made the right decision and refused to move forward with the prosecution of people who were the targets of a witch hunt and not guilty parties based on the evidence.

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